Your dryer is priceless! In the winter it ensures that your laundry is dried thoroughly, and, in the summer, it makes it comfortable and supple. In all seasons it also means that you cut your ironing time in half if not more. There are many signs that your dryer vent needs cleaning. These can include burning smells, an excess of lint and your clothes taking longer to dry. So, it is vital, as we will expose in this article, to know how to clean your dryer vent.
Beware of dryer fires
Dryer fires are one of the leading causes of house fires in Canada. When you put laundry in the dryer, three elements can start a fire: lint, heat, and moisture. Drying clothes creates lint, which can pile up in the dryer's filter. And if there is too much heat or sparks from the dryer, that can set off the lint. Moisture can cause lint to stick to the machine where it should not, and this is the main purpose for your lint filter. If it gets clogged, your dryer will not be able to work properly. The biggest danger when using a dryer is that the vent can become disconnected from the wall, which can cause lint and debris to build up behind the dryer, near the heating elements. This can be a fire hazard. Make sure the vent is connected to the wall properly each time you use the dryer, and if you see moisture around your dryer, that is a sign something is not right. Wetter clothes will cause moisture to accumulate on the sides of the venting pipe, which will act like a glue for lint. This can lead to significant build-up and clogging of the vent in a short amount of time.
Cleaning the dryer vent
The first and most important step when cleaning your dryer vent is to turn off the power to the dryer. You should not do any work on the vent while the appliance is still drawing power. So, unplug your appliance but keep in mind that this may require you having to move the dryer so enlist some help if it is too heavy. Once the power is off, locate the vent. It is a large, silver, or white pipe that comes out of the back of the dryer. It is about 4 inches in diameter and can be made with flexible white vinyl, thin aluminum foil, semi-rigid aluminum, or completely rigid aluminum piping. Follow the vent hose to the outdoor pipe where it exits the home. There are likely brackets that hold the vent in place. Then, pull the dryer out and using a screwdriver, loosen the clamps that keep the dryer vent hose attached to the wall. Make sure that you have a garbage bag ready to catch all the debris especially if the vent has never been cleaned before. Next, remove the vent hose by loosening its bracket and using a vacuum cleaner, suck out all the clumps of lint. This can be done from both ends of the duct. Finally, reattach the hose and clean the exterior vent by vacuuming any dust and debris.
Let the professionals do what they do best!
It is essential here to mention that the cleaning process can be quite difficult depending on where your dryer is situated and that you can also unwillingly damage your vent and its hose. A DIY clean may not be thorough enough as it is unlikely that you have in your possession powerful professional equipment. This being said, and keeping in mind that this cleaning only needs to happen on a yearly basis, it is strongly recommended to use a professional company that specializes in dryer vent cleaning. This will not only save you the hassle of doing the job yourself, but it will also ensure that the work is thorough thus reducing the risk of a potential house fire.
By pulling the stale air from your home and replacing it with fresh air from the outside, you HRV or heat recovery ventilation system works hard to keep your house comfortable and to keep the humidity levels down. HRV systems are unique and energy efficient as they use heat transfer when the inside and outside air cross path. Therefore, it is essential to keep them running efficiently by cleaning them regularly. One of the important components of your HRV system is its filters, so how often should you clean them?
The filters have for primary function to remove many pollutants from the air before it enters your home. They can eliminate even small toxin particles such as smoke, pollen, bacteria, and mould spores. The recommended frequency for the cleaning of your HRV filters is every two months, but this depends greatly on your living circumstances. To determine if you should clean your filters more often, you need to first keep in mind where your house is situated. For example, if you live in a wooded area the number of flying insects will be greater than if you live in a more residential area. The little critters will unequivocally land right into your HRV’s filters and therefore will hamper your system’s normal operation. The same goes with living in a very populated city, the pollution alone will clog the filters rapidly. It will then be crucial for your system and for your health that you keep up this cleaning task more often.
It is also recommended to clean your filters thoroughly when you are doing renovation work in your house as all the dust and debris, that might not be visible to the naked eye, are very much lingering in the air that you and your loved ones are breathing. Also, if you have just moved into a new home, do check your HRV filters to ensure that they have been cleaned recently.
Cleaning your filters may seem a tedious task but generally it only takes a few minutes and should not be neglected. Once you have removed the filters from the HRV system, vacuum off the dirt and debris and then wash them in warm soapy water. Allow for them to dry completely and reinsert them in their proper place. It will come a time when cleaning alone will no longer be sufficient and you will inevitably need to change the filters. If you notice that they are still mucky and dark in colour after a good washing, then that is a sign that you should replace them with new ones. This will usually be necessary once or twice a year.
If dust is settling on your furniture quickly after a deep clean of your house or if bad smells, that can cause various health problems, are more common than not in your home, then cleaning the filters alone will not be sufficient. It is time to find a reputable HRV cleaning company to come and do a thorough clean of your entire system. Make sure that this includes the cleaning of the ducts as well as all the components. It is vital that you do not attempt this task yourself as you could damage your system and must change it completely. A professional clean of your HRV and its ducts only needs to take place every 3 years and will ensure optimal air quality in your home and guarantee you peace of mind.
A Heat Recovery Ventilator or HRV system works by bringing fresh outdoor air and removing the stale air from inside your property. It uses the warmth of the outgoing air to heat the incoming air. It also ensures that the air you and your family breathe is clean and comfortable. These systems can be used in winter as well as during the summer to maintain your desired temperature in your home. The air passes through a complicated meander of ductwork and for that reason, as well as to optimize the quality of the air in your house, it is important to clean it regularly as dust and bacteria will accumulate in the ducts. It is recommended to have your system cleaned professionally at least every three years, but if you have just bought your home or if you have done renovation work, then, have a deep clean done straight away.
As for your HRV filters, it is essential that you clean them every two months as dust, dirt and pollution will build up and could potentially be introduced to the air that you breathe inside your home. Dirty or clogged up filters will also mean that your system will have to work harder and will be less efficient. To clean the filter, start by switching off your system and unplugging it. The open the door by unclipping the fasteners. Once this is done, remove the HRV filter or filters by sliding them out of the middle unit. Now it is time to clean the filter by first thoroughly hoovering all the dirt and dust, then by washing it in warm soapy water. Once you have washed it, make sure to liberally rinse it out with clear running water. You must then let the filter dry naturally and once ready, reinsert it in its place. Now you can safely plug in your HRV and switch it back on.
Did you know that as well as cleaning your filter or filters, you can also clean the filter core yourself? Often grime and dust also accumulate in the HRV’s filter core so it is important to give it a thorough clean too. If your system is in operation, don’t forget to switch it off and to unplug it. Then proceed by sliding out the sidetracks and then gently and carefully pull the mechanism out. You can now wash the HRV’s filter core in warm soapy water and rinse it thoroughly. Again, let it dry completely and then place it back in the machine, along with the sidetracks. Do note that your filters should be replaced at least once a year if not twice in order to ensure that the air inside your home is fresh and clean. If when washing your filters, you notice that even after a thorough clean they still appear dirty and have a dark colour, this is a good indication that you need to change them.
If you notice that a lot of dust accumulates quickly on your furniture even after a seasonal cleaning, it is time to have your system professionally cleaned as washing your filters alone will not be enough to maintain the high quality of air you have become accustomed to breathing. If this is the case, make sure that you employ the services of a highly qualified team of specialists that possesses state-of-the-art equipment. Start by asking them for a quote for the cleaning of your HRV system and ductwork, then ask them about the cleaning process and any extras they might provide, like the fumigation of your ducts with an antibacterial formula. Remember that having your ducts cleaned by professionals regularly is a question of health for you and your loved ones.
Having your home’s air ducts cleaned by a reputable professional company is essential to ensure the quality of the air that you and your loved ones breath. It will also lower your electricity bills and provide you with peace of mind that your system is running to its full potential, keeping your home cool or warm depending on the weather conditions.
But how long should this cleaning process take? The length of time for air duct cleaning depends on quite a few factors that all need to be taken into consideration. It is also very important to consider quality over speed. Some companies claim that they can clean your whole system in under an hour, this is a very good indicator that such companies are of ill repute and should not be trusted regardless of their claims. They will merely stir up dust inside of your system but will not do a proper cleaning job.
The main factor to take into consideration when you want to know the time that it will take to clean your air ducts is the size of your HVAC system and the complexity of the ductwork. The size of your home is a good indicator as to the length of time this cleaning service will require. Another consideration is the state of the air ducts and when was the last time you had them cleaned if ever. An important accumulation of dust will make the cleaning process longer. Finally, the size of the cleaning crew will also have an impact on the length of time that will be required to thoroughly clean your air ducts.
You must also keep in mind that the air duct cleaning process includes some very important steps that cannot be rushed such as the inspection of your ducts, putting your system under negative pressure, the cleaning of each duct one at a time, the pulsion, suction and friction process done with professional rotating brushes and compressed agitation air whipping tools to move settled dust, the cleaning of the supply side ducts and return vents, to name a few. Some highly professional companies will also offer a fumigation of your ducts once the cleaning is completed to make sure all moulds and bacteria have been killed.
For a home that is under 3 000 square feet and with two technicians doing the air duct cleaning service, it should roughly take between 3 to 4 hours. For larger homes then, anything between 4 to 6 hours. It is very important to have an assessment done of the work that will be required for your particular air ducts and for the cleaning company to attach a free quote to this assessment. Also ask if they will stick by the price quoted or change their mind and ask for more once they see what work needs doing. This is crucial as you do not want to pay way more than you were promised.
When you keep in mind that air duct cleaning should be done at least every five years, the few hours that will be taken to do that cleaning will be insignificant compared to the difference air duct cleaning will make to your health, your comfort and your well-being.
There are many cleaning companies out there that offer duct cleaning services for all the ducts attached to heat pumps, furnaces and other HVAC equipment. These companies all have their own techniques, and their charges vary greatly. But how much does duct cleaning really cost?
It is important to look at the work that needs to be carried out in order to give a professional service that will free your ducts from all sorts of particles. Air ducts are empty, hard-to-reach spaces, where dust, dirt, mould and organic allergens can gather and negatively affect your air quality often leading to allergies and in more serious cases, respiratory diseases such as asthma.
The first step of a professional duct cleaning service should always be an inspection of the ducts. This will allow the cleaning technician to determine the extent of the dust build up and also to identify any potential leaks or faults. Once a thorough inspection has been carried out, all the ventilation grilles or registers should be sealed with adhesive covers in order to create negative pressure. Then using a truck mount unit, a pulsion, suction and friction method should be used, and small openings made in the ventilation unit in order to methodically and completely clean it. These openings should then be closed once the work is complete. Some companies even offer antibacterial treatments for your duct using a fumigation process. When the cleaning technician adheres to the best practices and uses state-of-the-art equipment, the process of duct cleaning should take about three to six hours.
So how much does this essential cleaning process cost? The average cost of duct cleaning ranges from $250 to $525 but many factors can influence these prices such as the size of your house, the length of ductwork, the complexity of the ductwork system, the number of vents and registers throughout the house and the severity of issues like mould or pests. It is advised if not recommended to obtain an estimate from the cleaning company you are intending on using and if that company is indeed a professional one they should disclose all their final costs and possible extras upfront to save you from having some very bad surprises when it is time to pay.
Whilst considering the cost of duct cleaning, it is important to also consider several factors that this cleaning service will benefit not only your health but also your wallet! Engorged ducts can mean less airflow throughout your home and this in turn means that your system must work harder. Having your ducts cleaned can reduce this burden on your furnace and air conditioner thus improving efficiency, saving energy, saving money, and increasing the life expectancy of your heating and cooling systems. Also air duct cleaning is generally only required every three to five years so all things considered it is not a luxury but an essential cleaning service for the sake of your system’s health but most importantly yours and your family’s health!
Ducts are part of your forced air heating and cooling system which are better known as your furnace and air conditioner. The ducts connect them to the different rooms of your house and allow warm or cool air to be distributed throughout your home. Ducts are like the lungs of your house. The air you breathe is carried through the duct work, then out through vents and recirculated 5 to 7 times per day, on average.
Over the years the ducts in your home become clogged up with dust, bacteria, dust mites and other allergens. They can also get dirty quickly if your house is new or you have recently renovated, if you have had a disaster such as a flood or a fire and even if you have pets. It is important to have them cleaned at least once every five years in order for the air that you and your loved ones breathe to be healthy and of high quality and also save on your energy bills . You should only entrust your duct cleaning service to a professional duct cleaning company and never attempt it yourself as you could cause irreversible damage to your heating and cooling system.
A professional duct cleaning company worthy of that name will first evaluate your needs and get some background information on the use of your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system. They will also ask you questions about your household such as if you smoke and if you have pets. They will then inspect the ductwork for any visible problems.
Once the assessment phase of the cleaning service is completed, they will then start the cleaning process. All the ventilation grilles will be sealed by means of tape or covers in order for your system to be under negative pressure. It will remain so until the cleaning procedure has been completed.
They will then clean your air ducts using a pulsion, suction and friction process as recommended by the industry. This powerful cleaning method is done with the help of a truck-mount unit. All the dust, debris and allergens will be collected in the waste picker or vacuum collection unit inside the air duct cleaning truck-mount unit so that no dust, dirt, debris or dirty particles have the chance to spread around your home.
All the components inside your HVAC, the diffusers, the outlets, and the air flows will also be thoroughly cleaned. A real professional air duct cleaning company will also offer to fumigate the ducts of your system with an antibacterial treatment thus killing any remaining allergens. The whole duct cleaning process from start to finish will take several hours and this timing will greatly depend on the amount of dust in the ducts, the size of your home, the size of the HVAC system and the number of technicians working to clean the ducts.
When contacting a professional air duct cleaning company, make sure to give them all the information that they request in order for them to have a good idea of the work to be carried out and for you to know the length of time the cleaning service will take and more importantly the price of the work from start to finish.
Although air duct cleaning makes sense on so many levels, sometimes we put off this important cleaning service for whatever reason. But this essential cleaning service can often save you money in the long run and will improve your health and your family’s health. So, when is duct cleaning necessary?
The day has finally arrived! You have moved into your dream house that was built just for you. You are going around cleaning all traces of building works, but have you thought that all that visible dust brought into your beautiful home when building your kitchen cabinets, plastering your walls, putting in insulation, etc. has also made its way into your ventilation ducts? It’s inevitable in a new built. This is one of the times when duct cleaning will be necessary before you even attempt to run your furnace or your air conditioning unit. The same aha moment comes into play when you have just finished your interior renovations as so much dust is created when doing any building works big or small!
Your nose can also be a great detector as to when duct cleaning is necessary. We all know that a musty, damp smell is always behind nasty mould. It is nearly impossible to see the mould or its tiny spores as the inner channels of your heating or cooling system span very long to accommodate all the rooms in your house. The contamination can start to build up in any section of the ductwork and once this polluted air is released in your home, you and your family could start to suffer from allergies and skin irritations. Also, any respiratory illnesses may worsen over time due to inhaling air contaminated by mould.
If you are an indoor smoker, it is also necessary to have your ducts cleaned regularly as cigarette smoke travels through the air ducts. The heating and cooling system then circulates it to every room in the house. The contaminants are continuously pulled into the system and are recirculated every time the air passes through it, they leave sticky and oily tar and nicotine residue in the ducts, and this accelerates the build-up of dirt, dust, debris, and other pollutants. Duct cleaning significantly improves your indoor air quality by circulating clean, fresh, and healthy air and this in turn can be of excellent help to people who wish to quit smoking.
Another major reason for having duct cleaning is the efficiency of your HVAC. A clogged-up system will work harder to produce the same results and will consume much more energy in doing so. The dirt in your air ducts can also cause damage to your heating and cooling system and over time will severely affect the performance of its compressor and motor.
When duct cleaning is necessary, choosing a reputable and professional cleaning company is key. Always make sure to explain your needs fully and to get an estimate before any work is carried out. Also check that they are using state-of-the-art equipment and following the latest procedures recommended by the industry. This will help you to make a confident decision.